News & Events-Human factors front page Eureka article

In a headline article first published in the September issue of Eureka magazine, senior human factors engineer, Ryan Meeks discusses exemplar human factors engineering with editor, Justin Cunningham.

Many engineers fail to understand what human factors is and Meeks provides a definition and a brief history. Meek's then uses Apple as a good human factors example as the company engages with the user at the earliest possible stage.  He states Apple's products are both consistent and customisable and that the iPad is great at keeping users engaged, one of the fundamental principles of human factors.

Meeks then draws on the comparison with the design of a nuclear submarine. A submarine might be a more complex system, but Meeks explains that it is ultimately one system consisting of thousands of smaller systems. Meeks suggests that if you approach the design in a similar way - engaging users at an early stage and then determine your human requirements early, you can ensure that the smaller systems are designed in the same way.

Meeks concludes that human factors is often brought in late as a luxury and is not widely incorporated into engineering design. This ultimately can cost companies a lot of money. He states that the best practice is to let human factors get involved early on in the process.

Read the full article here.